Compassion and Solidarity: The Church for Others by Gregory Baum

By Gregory Baum

Within the forthright variety that has earned him a name for controversy, theologian Gregory Baum provides the hot religion and Justice move in a variety of church buildings — particularly the Roman Catholic Church — including the enormous competition to it.

He discusses why many Christians have gotten activists, turning their religion into deeds via operating for the liberation of the bad. He argues for a brand new ecumenism, allowing a extra consultant opinion in the Church and, in a bigger experience, for what he believes are the basics of a "just society."

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Indeed, at least in Tingchim, the assumption of opposition didn’t always hold true and instead obscured much of what was actually going on. Mumford’s study greatly contributed to reinforce the idea of an opposition between lamas and shamans. He left for the field in 1981, shortly after Ortner wrote her unpublished manuscript on the decline of Sherpa shamanism. Mumford went out of his way to locate a healthy form of ‘pre-Buddhist’ shamanism in Nepal that would be contrary to Lamaism both ethically and philosophically.

Thus, I shouldn’t have been surprised, when I started fieldwork in Tingchim, to witness lamas and shamans celebrating the sacredness of their landscape together. Sikkim indeed seemed to be a good choice for studying the persistence of the shamanic worldview among a Tibetan Buddhist community rather than the process of its demise. 20 On the respective seventeenth century roles and activities of the three founding lamas, see Mullard (2005b). 24 chapter one The persistence of the shamanic worldview in Sikkim is not only due to the inherent shamanic nature of Nyingma and Kagyud Buddhism as defined by Samuel or the Tibetan immigrants’ close association with the Lepchas.

The popularity of the shamans and the bongthing is of course due to the fact that they are far better equipped than the lamas to operate within this local shamanic world where the social and physical environments and the supernatural are thought to be so intimately linked. Any preventive ritual performed on a regular basis by any of Tingchim’s ritual specialists is likely to aim at maintaining or reaffirming these relations while curing rituals will aim to exorcise agents, often identified through their wrongdoing, as a threat to this relational order.

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